Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, offering a unique sense of freedom on the open road. However, motorcycles do not offer the protection that an enclosed vehicle does, which makes motorcyclists more susceptible to accidents. Often, these accidents result in severe injuries or fatalities.
In order to be safe on the road and reduce the risk of a motorcycle accident, it’s important for everyone to understand the most common causes. In this article, our Athens, GA motorcycle accident lawyer explores the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Georgia.
What is the Main Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?
The primary causes of motorcycle accidents in Georgia include:
One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is inattentive driving. Many motorists are distracted by their smartphones, conversations, and other behaviors that detract from their focus on the road. These distracting activities like texting, adjusting music, eating or grooming compromise a driver’s ability to react swiftly to changing conditions. This often makes them unable to avoid a collision with a motorcyclist or cause one by drifting into a motorcyclist’s lane.
Failure to yield
Failure to yield the right of way to motorcycles during lane changes, at intersections, or when merging onto highways can cause a collision. This is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Georgia and is often due to misjudging the speed of the approaching motorcycle.
Left turn accidents are a significant risk for motorcyclists in Georgia. These transpire when a motorcycle is driving straight through an intersection when a car turns left and does not give the motorcyclist the right of way. The smaller size of the motorcycle makes it less visible to drivers as they turn.
Lane splitting is a practice in which a motorcyclist rides between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic. Georgia law does not explicitly address this practice. However, it is considered risky behavior for motorcyclists and can potentially lead to a collision. It’s possible for a vehicle to try to change lanes as a motorcycle is traveling between two of them.
Speeding and reckless driving
Both speed and reckless riding can cause motorcycle accidents in Georgia. Speeding reduces reaction time for any driver. Drivers who exceed the speed limit or engage in aggressive maneuvers around motorcyclists are at an increased risk of losing control of their vehicle, increasing the likelihood of striking the rider.
Driving under the influence
Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is one of the biggest causes of motorcycle accidents in Georgia. These substances cause impaired judgment, slower reaction times, and diminished coordination.
Weather conditions are another one of the major factors involved in motorcycle accidents in Georgia. Rain, fog, and/or other challenging weather conditions can cause visibility to be reduced, as well as create slippery road surfaces and decreased traction, which contribute to accidents.
Road conditions and hazards such as uneven road surfaces, debris, and potholes can be dangerous for motorcycles. Any loss of control from road hazards is much more consequential compared to a driver in an enclosed vehicle. The risk of these accidents can be greatly reduced through adequate road maintenance.
Defective motorcycle equipment
In some cases, motorcycle accidents in Georgia are caused by mechanical failures or defects in equipment. Some of the most common failures include brakes, tire blowouts, and issues with lights and signals. These can impact the rider’s ability to control the motorcycle, but they also affect vehicles in a manner that causes them to collide with a rider.
Lack of visibility
Due to their size, motorcycles are much less visible than larger vehicles, especially when they are in another driver’s blind spot. Motorists who do not check their mirrors and/or blind spots may not see an approaching motorcycle, which can cause a collision when changing lanes or merging.
Investigating the Cause of an Accident With a Lawyer’s Help
In many situations, determining who or what was the root cause of a motorcycle crash is debatable. Auto insurance companies will often try to pin the blame on the motorcyclist and limit the amount they’ll have to pay out. Motorcycle accident victims should enlist the help of an attorney who can speak to witnesses, preserve key evidence and defend a rider’s right to compensation.
Legal Options for Motorcycle Accident Victims in Georgia
Motorcycle accidents in Georgia are often preventable and by understanding and addressing the most common causes of accidents, we can create safer roads for everyone.
If you or a loved one is involved in a motorcycle accident in Georgia, you may be entitled to legal recourse for injuries and/or damages. Schedule your consultation with Brady M. Larrison at Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys at 770-626-7895 or online.